Applying for Kansas CDL - Endorsement H (Hazardous Materials)
No federal standards are in place for on-road commercial driver training. To take and pass the CDL knowledge and skills (driving) exams are all the government requires. It’s only longer-combination-vehicles (LCV) drivers who must receive training in driver qualifications, wellness, hours of service, and whistleblower protection.
The first step to earning your Commercial Driver’s License is obtaining your Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit (CDIP). It’s the first short step in the right direction. In order to acquire your CDIP, all you have to do is go to a Kansas DMV office with the following:
- Your Kansas Driver’s License
- A valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate. These can be obtained by having a licensed medical professional fill out a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s Fitness reports.
If these are accepted, then you must take the knowledge exam along with a vision screening test. However, before you leave for your local DMV, call in, not all of them are equipped to handle CDL testing. For your knowledge exam, receiving an 80% is a passing grade and will award you your CDIP. The best way to prepare for these written and road tests is the Kansas CDL Manual, which can be picked up at a Kansas DMV office. The fee accompanying your general knowledge exam is $13, and additional exams are required for any endorsements.
Now that you’ve earned your CDIP, you should go to any of the following to receive commercial driving instruction:
- Private driving school
- Vocational/Technical school
- Community college
- Trucking company
After you feel comfortable behind the wheel, it’s time to take your road exam. Call into the Kansas license exam stations to ensure they’re equipped to handle CDL testing, as not all have qualified CDL examiners. You will not be required to schedule an appointment date.
On the Road
A KS DOR examiner administers the driving exam in three parts:
- Pre-trip inspection
- Basic driving skills test
- Basic operating skills test
First up is the pre-trip inspection. If you fail to pass this section, then the rest of the exam is over before it even begins. During the pre-trip inspection, you will be required to explain to the examiner in detail different components of the truck and their functions. The following are possible components that could be asked to be located and explained:
- Mirrors, doors, seat, brakes, clutch, steering wheel, communication equipment, emergency equipment, and gauges.
- Anything under the hood.
- Wheels, tires, and fuel tank.
- Connections such as hitches, hydraulics, trailer axle placement or fifth wheel coupling, and air lines.
- Tie-downs, rigging, trailer frame, trailer doors, trailer sides, and tarps.
After you complete your pre-trip inspection, you move on to the basic skills test. During this portion of the exam, maneuvering techniques covered include:
- Backward serpentine
- Backing up
- Right turns
- Alley dock
- Driving forward and stopping
- Parallel parking
Tip: don’t leave the vehicle, or driver’s seat, at any point during the exam.
The last portion of the exam, the driving test, is driven on a pre-determined route along which the examiner will assess your proficiency in driving skills. Areas covered:
- Railroad crossings
- Bridges and overpasses
- Expressway driving
- Driving on curves
- Lane changing
- Straight driving
To receive your H – Hazardous Materials endorsement , an additional knowledge test must be taken pertaining specifically to this aspect of commercial driving. In addition to the knowledge test, CDL holders of an H-Hazardous Materials endorsement are required to have their fingerprints taken and a background check conducted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). After you’ve gotten your CDL, apply for a background check from the TSA – this can be done online or over the phone. They will need:
- Your CDL or CDL permit number
- Proof of identity
- Proof of presence within the U.S.
You will then be asked to go to an office to have your fingerprints done. The background check will then be conducted, and some fees will follow.
If you’re found guilty for any of the following crimes you will be disqualified for being eligible of an H – Hazardous Materials endorsement:
- Identity fraud
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material
If the TSA disqualifies you, then you can appeal their finding or seek a waiver. Regardless, if you’re found guilty of a disqualifying crime, you must surrender your Hazardous Materials endorsement (Hazmat) to your state’s department of motor vehicles. See "Dmv.org ":http://www.dmv.org/ks-kansas/apply-cdl.php for more info.